In case I haven’t been clear in previous articles, I love wine. I can’t drink red wine because of an odd allergic reaction, but trust me I make up for it with the whites. A main consideration when dining out is not only the food itself but the wines offered.
My love of wine was not instantaneous. It took me many years of gagging down fancy goblets filled with the grapes of wrath to acquire a taste for wine, but being the determined person I am, I eventually conquered the urge to give up and return to swilling beer.
I regret I cannot afford the fine $100 and up wines, but that is not to say it is impossible to find an enjoyable replacement for the $4 Boone’s Farm Tickled Pink I began my wine tasting journey with. It really wasn’t that bad, but after one particularly busy wine tasting episode, I once told a friend if I had ever eaten anything that made me that sick, I would never eat it again. Of course we all know that didn’t happen.
Eventually I learned the fifty-cent word moderation, and found it was indeed possible to sip wine. I practiced a graceful stance, daintily holding a champagne flute, and learned to refrain from requesting ice and a straw.
I like chardonnay. I don’t know if a wine can really “boast”, but if it could, I doubt it would say “I’m oaky, buttery, and leave a lasting impression on your palate.” Don’t you just hate wine jargon? It’s so…condescending. My assessment of wine is either “Mmmmm” or “Eeeww”.
I also like to do the ordering. That way, I get an extra swig by tasting it. I remember once being at an elegant restaurant, tasting the wine and “Eeeww-ing” it up. The maitre d hustled over in a panic, as ex crawled under the table. I explained that it was just one thing on my bucket list that I wanted to do before I died. Well, at least I thought it was funny…
Forget pairing wines with food. I have found in my extensive research that good wine not only does not mean expensive wine, but it can be “paired” with anything from red meat to seafood to Wheaties. You either like it or you don’t. With wines, there is no in-between.
So I’m sure your wondering what my preference for chardonnay might be. Kendall Jackson has remained a reliable favorite. If you’re wondering about the year, which all connoisseurs love to throw around, how about Grand Reserve 2007? A close second is old Clos du Bois, which I prefer to point to on the menu rather than stumble over.
I think the best advice I have ever received about wine came from a wine steward I spoke with while on a cruise. He insisted wine does not have to be expensive to be good. I deferred to his expertise, and our party was served several bottles of his choice during dinner. Toward dessert, I was beginning to get a bit concerned about my wine bill, but he presented it to me with a flourish, as we finished. Six bottles of various wines, all wonderful, tallied up to $79. Let that be a lesson, although he did steer me away from the screw tops.
Source: Personal opinion